Love is the most misunderstood word in the English language. It mainly represents a feeling. A “warm, fuzzy” feeling of gushing emotion. I believe love is practical. It engages in daily honor, respect, generosity, hospitality, and fidelity. In Hebrews 13:1, Paul said four powerful words: “Let brotherly love continue.” Then, he went on to show us four practical ways that love is demonstrated on a daily basis.
Try these out and see how your “love” is working for you:
1) Love shows HOSPITALITY
- I’m not great at hospitality. You may not be either. Most of us would rather drive into our garage, close the garage door, and retreat into the solitude of our kitchen and TV! The idea of having another person around to entertain is not one we dream about.
- “Some have entertained angels unaware.” People are not intruders but ambassadors sent from God. When a person needs a meal, a bed, a few minutes of consoling, or a “pause that refreshes,” welcome that opportunity as if Jesus Himself had just knocked on your door.
2) Love shows SOLIDARITY
- When others are in physical difficulty or distress, they usually become “out of sight, out of mind.” We hear of their painful circumstances, pause to pity them for a moment, then move on to our daily agenda.
- “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them.” Whether behind bars of persecution or behind bars in the private hell they are walking through, I must “remember them.”
- I cannot escape back into my own world of pleasure when a friend is in a world of pain.
3) Love shows FIDELITY
- My marriage partner deserves my deepest honor and respect. We sometimes show more love to a pet than to our spouse! We have time and spend time with anyone and everyone except the person God gave us to share our life with.
- “Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled.” Practical love is showing practical honor every day to my spouse.
- That would mean in little ways, it is noticing their every need and meeting it. It also means in big ways, in never even THINKING of being unfaithful to them.
4) Love shows GENEROSITY
- From the time we are babies, our two main words are “MINE” and “MORE.” We grasp, we covet, we hoard, we defend every last dime we possess.
- “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.” Money is one of the greatest indicators of brotherly kindness.
- When I open up my wallet and share of my hard-earned money with others, GOD HAS DONE A MIRACLE IN MY HEART!
This Thanksgiving and Christmas season, ask God to open up your heart. Show kindness to a stranger. Remember a person who is suffering. Notice your spouse and show them honor. Be extremely generous to those who a little money would be a great blessing too.
That’s real love.